St Patricks Athletic are the 2023 Sports Direct Men's FAI Cup winners following a 3-1 win over Bohemians in front of a record crowd of 43,881 at the Aviva Stadium. Jonathan Afolabi gave Bohemians the perfect start with an early opening goal but goal
St Patricks Athletic are the 2023 Sports Direct Men's FAI Cup winners following a 3-1 win over Bohemians in front of a record crowd of 43,881 at the Aviva Stadium.
Jonathan Afolabi gave Bohemians the perfect start with an early opening goal but goals from Mark Doyle, an own goal from Krystian Nowak and a late strike from second-half substitute Thomas Lonergan ensured that the Cup would to go to Inchicore.
The record attendance - which broke the previous record held since 1945 - was a testament to the community work that both clubs have done over the last few years.
Bohemians were awarded a penalty in the opening 10 minutes of the contest as Afolabi was taken down in the area under a challenge from Anthony Breslin. The in-form stepped up to take the penalty sending goalkeeper Dean Lyness the wrong way and slotted the ball to the bottom right-hand corner.
Afolabi would have another sight on goal following a quickly taken corner and saw the ball directed to the striker’s path only for his effort to go wide. James Clarke was to have the next opportunity for Bohemians seeing his effort go over following some good work down the left wing from Danny Grant.
St Pat's were to draw level following a free-kick delivered into the Bohemians area by Jake Mulraney that saw Mark Doyle get ahead of his marker to nod the ball past goalkeeper James Talbot to level the tie.
Bohemians had an excellent chance to restore their lead with Dylan Connolly’s cross set to be met by Grant only for Sam Curtis to put the ball behind for a corner. Chris Forrester then had a chance late on in the first half for the Saints but his effort from 40 yards just looped over the crossbar.
The Saints took the lead for the first time two minutes into the second half with Mulraney once again the provider of a pinpoint cross towards Joe Redmond but the final touch would come off Krystian Nowak at the back post which saw the ball steer past Talbot.
Jordan Flores was to force an excellent save from Lyness with the Bohemians midfielder collecting the ball on the outside of the box as his low effort was pushed around the post by the Saints keeper.
Doyle almost added a third for St. Pats in their next phase of attack with Mulraney providing a cross that saw the ball loop over Doyle's head at the back post.
Afolabi would have a chance to equalise following a move that started and ended with the Bohemians striker with Grant linking up in the build-up play but Afolabi struck his effort over. Adam McDonnell also had a shot from distance as his effort went wide of Lyness's goal.
Flores was to strike the post as Bohemians were awarded a free-kick and Flores struck the post from the set piece from the edge of the area. Alex Nolan almost added his name to the scoresheet with a low-struck effort that took a deflection off Cian Byrne for a corner at the far post.
St Pat's added a third with five minutes from time as Thomas Lonergan got the better of Flores to find himself just to face Talbot and he fired his well-placed effort home to secure the FAI Cup.
Bohemians: Talbot; Kukulowicz, Nowak, Flores, Afolabi, Connolly, Grant (Coote 68), McManus (Kirk 51), Clarke, McDonnell (O’Sullivan 85), Byrne.
St. Patricks Athletic: Lyness; Breslin, Redmond, Lennon, Forrester (Murphy 68), Norman, Doyle (Melia 57), Carty (Lonergan 75), Leavy (Nolan 75), Mulraney (McClelland 68), Curtis.
Sports Direct Player of the Match: Jamie Lennon (St. Patricks Athletic)
Referee: Paul McLaughlin.